I remember when I was growing up hearing commercials that talked about the comfy robes and towels -- which are now more of a sandpaper quality.
As a matter of fact if you or a loved one has sensory issues do not plan on using Hilton's robes or towels.
I remember that their service was supposedly the best (I wouldn't know because we never stayed in one) and just simply that if you were anyone you stayed at the Hilton (remember these are memories from my childhood). ;o)
Sadly Hilton Hotels are no longer what they used to be.
They're still expensive of course (every hotel here that's even remotely close to Seattle is ridiculously expensive) but their service and quality, and even the safety of their guests, is no longer of importance.
Below is a 'raw' email between someone named Rachel at Hilton and myself. Unfortunately I don't have time right now to go through and make it 'not raw' but her minimal response to the laundry list of issues that I initially provided to them is telling in and of itself.
She finishes off by asking me to reach out to her so that she can address my concerns. I responded the same day she emailed me, one week ago today, and she still has not responded to my email. Poor customer service - if it can even be honestly referred to as 'service'.
Think twice if you plan on staying at the Embassy Suites Inn Hilton Hotels North Lynnwood Washington. In all honesty, based on our experiences as outlined below, your life could depend on your decision!
If you do stay there be sure to check the air intake filter, especially if you or anyone with you has asthma. Do the same if you stay at the Embassy Suites in Bellevue.
And assume that the furnishings/curtains/etc. in the floor are as dirty as that filter is. I didn't, my mistake, and I ended up having an asthma attack.
Okay here we go...
From: Rachel Blake [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, June 16, 2017 9:14 AM
To: Diane Dennis
Subject: Your stay at Embassy Suites by Hilton Seattle North Lynnwood
Dear Diane Dennis:
Thank you for taking the time to fill out a survey on our hotel. I am very sorry for your experience and Maddisyn has filled me in on some of your concerns regarding the lack of cleanliness and follow through.
As it relates to the alarm we put our team through regular training. There was no actual problem with a fire and we were trying to confirm what triggered the alarm to insure our guests safety. I am sorry but I don't know what you mean that our team risked their lives.
Please reach out to me so that I can address your concerns.
Embassy Suites Seattle North Lynnwood
[I removed her email address to keep it private]
[Same with her phone number]
Dear Rachel Blake,
Thank you for replying to my message.
In regard to the alarm, this is what happened...
The alarm started going off in our room and after hearing it about 5 times with no announcement I called down.
The lady who answered at the front desk said in a very hesitant (unsure) voice, in response to my question, "Yes but we're not sure yet if it's an emergency. Wait for an announcement that we'll be making once we know."
Then they make announcement a couple minutes later that the hotel does not know if it's an emergency or not and to wait for yet another announcement.
Then an announcement was made a couple minutes later that it was a false alarm and for the guests to return to their rooms. We were *never* instructed to leave our rooms, every statement was "wait for an announcement", so why in the world did she say "return to your rooms"?
It happened about 15 minutes or so before we checked out. We went to the elevators not thinking and tried to use them. They wouldn't work which we realized was in relation to the alarm, that was no longer sounding at that point, so we had to take four flights of stairs down for a *non-emergency* alarm. I have major hip problems which is why I use the elevator.
By this point I was SO angry with our experience and the people there that when I came to the front desk and the male there very chipper-like said "good morning" I responded with a much less chipper "good bye, room 456" and I walked out the door.
It wasn't until after we were outside that the firetruck showed up.
I asked the fireman who was driving the truck "isn't there some kind of law in Lynnwood that says this hotel should have done something other than tell their guests to 'wait for an announcement'" (twice no less), like maybe evacuate the guests?" He responded that yes it is law, we should have been evacuated, and he advised me that no matter where I'm at should an alarm go off to evacuate whether or not the establishment tells me to.
Your employees did NOT ensure your guests' safety in any way. The ONLY way to attempt to ensure their safety is to evacuate them. You readily admitted yourself in this email that no one knew what triggered the alarm. Does that not in and of itself call for an evacuation? Even the elevators were shut down.
It was yet another potentially life-threatening incident caused by your employees. This isn't the life-threatening incident I mentioned in my earlier message, that's yet another incident and it's explained below.
For crying out loud there's supposedly remodeling going on there. Apparently you all have no idea how seriously wrong things can go in construction... ?
Busted gas pipe, fire, broken water pipe, electricity problems, and so on. There should have been an evacuation in process BEFORE it was determined that there was no fire. NO ONE KNEW what set it off.
In case of alarm GET OUT and CALL 911.
There's NO acceptable excuse for not evacuating or at least starting the evacuation process when no one knows WHY the alarm is sounding. Trying to confirm that it's not an emergency while not evacuating is NOT ensuring your guests' safety.
The above is what I intend to notify the city and the fire department about.
The two employees that risked their lives and the lives of your guests...
You might not know this but the breakfast area is extremely small and there are constantly people bumping into each other, there's just no space in there (the area where the food is, not the seating area). Two employees came out and proceeded to stick a butter knife into the bread toaster to get something out. I saw it and asked in alarm "did you unplug that?" to which they nonchalantly responded "no".
Standing shoulder to shoulder with another guest we looked at each other, backed up, and practically begged them to stop all the while telling them what could happen. They didn't stop until they were done.
If they had been electrocuted I can guarantee you that one or more guests would have, unthinkingly, tried to 'rescue' these two employees - this was a potential tragedy in the making.
The guest standing next to me said something along the lines of "looks like the hotel hasn't done their training properly".
I hesitate to say who the two employees were for fear of any backlash they might receive. Their nonchalant answer makes it very clear that they were not trained properly, they had NO idea what they were risking, and it's not their fault it's the employer's fault.
That's what I plan on reporting to OSHA.
As far as other employees in the breakfast area, the guy who was responsible for making sure the food was out there was CLEARLY not happy about being there. He made promises to replenish food and fruit that was out but he didn't until quite some time later (the fruit never got replenished that I saw, only the bacon) and he was obviously very frustrated, even angry, every time someone handed him an order they'd written out even though he was the one that we were supposed to give our orders to. The only way to describe him since I don't know his name is that he's a midget or dwarf. I hate typing that because it feels discriminatory to describe him that way but I don't have his name. And it's probably not politically correct but again I have no other idea of how to describe him.
In the pool area you have some problems. The paint along the beam that runs across above the 'rock formation' for the pool is major-league blistered, pretty much around the entire room, and the paint that's above the waterfall has ripped through due to too much water. I have a picture.
In addition, the ceiling tiles have absorbed so much moisture that every single one of them is bowed in the center, primed to fall on your guests. I know ceiling tiles because I had a business doing suspended ceilings and I'm still involved in the construction industry. I have a picture.
That's another issue that I plan on reporting to the city and the fire department. If they turn out to be the wrong folks to report to they'll tell me who I do need to report it to.
The chair at the side of the pool for disabled guests is so incredibly rusted within the mechanism I'd be surprised if it even works or if it does work I'd be surprised if it works properly and doesn't flip a user into the pool. I have a picture. And as I'm typing this it frightens me that there could be electricity issues with that chair being in the shape it is and bolted down in standing water.
That's something for the ADA I believe, as well as probably the city and fire department.
Every bit of metal in the restroom that's in the pool area is completely rusted. I thought the hotel was under a remodel but we couldn't see anything new, only messes inside and out. It actually led us to surmise that the contractors aren't being paid and therefore work has stopped. True or not, that's the vibe...
The emergency poster on the wall in the pool area doesn't have the information on it that's legally required to be written in. I'm thinking that gets reported to OSHA possibly but certainly the city and fire department, and Washington state.
There's a paper note posted on the wall that states to use the emergency phone but the phone isn't there at the note. Unless you turn around and see it on another wall then you have no idea where it is.
I saw nothing in the stairwell next to the elevator that would have helped me to get down those stairs if I had been unable to get down there on my own two feet.
ADA and probably the city and fire department.
I phoned this location on three separate occasions to be certain that we'd be in a room where the window opens. First time was when I made the reservation and they told me no problem. Second time I called I was told that *some* rooms have windows that open so I specifically requested a room with a window that opens. Third time I called, for a different reason in relation to the reservation, I was told again that all rooms have windows that open.
15 minutes before we left (from Oak Harbor Whidbey Island), car all packed up, Maddisyn called me to tell me that the windows open only 6" and that I could cancel if I wanted without being charged.
I immediately started crying because this was supposed to be a very, very special trip for my two young-adult kids and myself (you have no idea how important this trip was). I told her that I couldn't cancel, there was no way, and that I'd have to deal with a window that opens only 6".
What I wasn't told was that there were no screens. I couldn't have the window open because of bugs coming in. Maddisyn has taken responsibility for not mentioning the lack of screens but I'm the one that had to deal with not being able to open the window the entire time I was there.
That first night I had an asthma attack in the middle of the night so the next day I started searching for dust. The air filter was massively clogged, I have pictures.
There was dust so thick on top of the pictures and mirrors that it literally fell off and floated to the ground in pieces, both when I did it and even when the housekeeping supervisor ran her finger across the surfaces.
The window sill was caked in dust. No doubt the curtains are full of dust unless they're taken down, washed, and replaced just like the sheets are, which I doubt.
This all caused my asthma attack. I had another one on the way home and I've been in bed for two days from heat exhaustion because of the heat in the room. Because the filter was so clogged there was minimal air flow. A closed window made it worse. I do not do well in heat, another of the reasons I need a window that opens, and I become physically ill when I get too warm. In addition it triggered a migraine.
There was trash in the room that wasn't ours (candy wrappers).
The door into the bathroom was absolutely filthy (the outside of the door).
The refrigerator wasn't working and they had to send someone up.
The second morning our toilet was a hair away from overflowing so they had to send someone up.
Later that afternoon when showering the water wouldn't drain so they had to send someone up. He had to use these long plier things to pull icky hair out of the drain and throw it in the toilet.
Then *I* had to give up *my* time with my kids in order to walk *YOUR* management through my hotel room to show them the messes "so that she [housekeeping manager] can take notes of all the issues and start a retraining process". That's what I was told, I have it in a text.
I was walking them through, giving up my time and opening up my private space to them, because they wanted to use what I showed them to better their training.
What? Where's my paycheck?
I mean come on... *I* have to train *them*?
This was supposed to be a wonderful, NON-STRESSFUL, time together after 7 years of a horrendous living nightmare.
I told Maddisyn to not send them up until 12:00. My kids didn't want to be in there during the training that I was recruited - for no pay - to do.
Yet there they were knocking at my door at 10:45 am. I sent them away and told them to come back at 12:00. Again breakdown in communication. A housekeeper/maid(?) showed up shortly after that. I tried to explain to her (English isn't her first language) that the others were coming back at 12:00. At that point her English became very clear when she told me that we wouldn't get any service after 12 because that's lunch time. ??
The door jamb in the bedroom was completely rusted across the top. The housekeeping manager explained that the room hadn't been remodeled yet. Um, okay... So that means it's okay to leave rust and stuff for guests to deal with? I don't blame her for that, I blame her boss. While we were out of the room they didn't something to cover it up but why did it take a guest complaining for it to be taken care of?
She had her supervisor with her. That man clearly did not want to be there and was rude about it both in his eye movements and the tone of his voice. In addition he snapped at her to "get back here" when they left my room. She had been headed for the stairwell I think, as opposed to the elevator.
Items that we'd been promised for our room hadn't been delivered. I misunderstood her and didn't realize that she was the one that Maddisyn asked to bring the items and I was trying to keep her from doing extra work (I thought it was someone else that would be bringing the items). It was during that confusion on my part that he snapped at her "Get back here!"
Not good at all. If he worked for me and treated any of my other employees that way he'd be out. I absolutely would not allow that. And to compound it by doing it in front of a guest?
The bathroom has a very slight musty smell to it. He couldn't smell it and was a smart-alek (for want of a better phrase) about it. I explained that I am very sensitive to odors and I suggested that even though he couldn't smell it that maybe it ought to be checked out before mold starts growing somewhere. He didn't care, again nothing but attitude from him.
It's overly humid in that suite, made clear by the rust on the metal in the bedroom... Rust ... mold ... both due to too much humidity/water... Seems to me that it would make sense to check it out, especially with the rust being present... ?? Apparently he knows better though...
I was not greeted as a Hilton Honors member and I was not provided a bag with water or any goodies, something I believe that Honors members are supposed to receive? And if not, they're at least supposed to greet Honors members as such? (I only know of the bag with 'goodies' because of the Bellevue location).
I don't really care about that, I don't drink bottled water, but it's in your survey so obviously you guys care about it so you should be told when it's not being done.
The curtains in the room didn't have one of the rods to open and close the curtains so they wouldn't close all the way. Minor complaint if it's a Best Western/Motel 6 but not okay in a HILTON.
Point being that inspections are not being done on these rooms to make sure they're up to snuff.
A lamp was major-league bent and the housekeeping manager's boss bent it back to where it belonged. Point being, again, inspections are not being done on these rooms.
When I first arrived and called down because Maddisyn's promise that certain items would be in our room hadn't been fulfilled the front desk told me that she wrote it down but that she wrote it down wrong. I have no idea where the breakdown in communication is between your employees but they obviously aren't understanding each other.
We *never* did receive the additional robe that we asked for (there were 3 adults in that suite, not 2). Your website should allow for a person to ask for more than 2 of the complimentary items such as the robes at least when there are more adults than two. We gave up on it and told them to forget it.
When I called down again about something else I called probably 8 times and every single time the phone went automatically from ringing to music (on hold) with no voice asking if I would hold. Finally someone answered.
That is a classic example of taking care of potential customers while putting the 'already' customer on the back burner - an all too common, yet still unacceptable, practice amongst most large businesses.
When a guest gets into his/her room they receive a very polite text message asking about their stay. They receive very polite responses to their replies back. Unless the guest has a complaint.
I sent a text that asked "Is Madison in yet this morning?" and didn't receive a response. So then I texted a question mark. I received a response back and it was most definitely not in the polite manner that the other messages were.
Drew Gunderson's response to the above question: "Not yet" (that's all, just "Not yet" - and his name).
That less than polite response angered me further over and above everything that was going on so I started sending him pictures of my room. His next response: "What room are you in" (again, that's it, not even any punctuation in either message, no apologies, no nothing).
In regard to the window they weren't reading my multiple messages properly. I kept telling them that yes the window opens but there's no screen. They would respond with "the engineer says that the window in there does open". I finally went back with "You guys aren't understanding me. Yes it opens BUT there's no screen which means bugs!"
I get a text message from Drew Gunderson on Monday at 11:46 saying he was just checking in to see how our stay was going so far and feel free to reply with a 1 through 10, have a great day, yada yada yada.
My text response: "Oh my gosh! Communication people! Talk to Madisyn."
A male guest was fuming while on the elevator with us because according to him breakfast had been served until 10:30 on Sunday morning so they thought it was the same on Monday. By the time they got down there it was 9:00 and he was major-league tweaked that "they flat out shut down at 9 sharp!". He said they didn't tell him. I know it's on the check-in info but I didn't volunteer that because, as I said, he was fuming and I sure wasn't going to say anything about it other than to agree with him that they ought to be clearer in their communication to their guests.
Rachel, I don't believe that I've yet touched on everything that took place while we were there. Is the above enough to help you to understand that there is a problem with that location?
More than one actually. Communication is a problem, the pool area is a problem, the confusion on the alarm is a problem, the breakfast area is a problem, training of staff is a problem... need I go on?
For the positive:
The room service was spot-on, the food was great, and those folks were INCREDIBLY polite - so much so that it was as if the restaurant were an entirely different establishment separate from the hotel, meaning, not located in the hotel.
The two employees that risked everything with electricity were so thankful to me for telling them what could happen to them.
That incident scared me so much that I went back to my table to make sure that my own two young adult kids knew not to do that. I was sure I'd taught them but seeing that really scared me. They reminded me that indeed I had taught them that.
Every employee that I came across in the hallways, elevators, etc. was extremely polite (excepting the guy I mentioned in the breakfast area and the one housekeeper/maid telling me I'd get nothing after 12).
There are major issues with this location and potential guests, and the city, need to know about it.
Thank you Rachel,
PS: Another concern... I opened the receipt from Hilton on my phone. The next morning I had virus warnings on my phone. I contacted Verizon to get help and they asked me what was the last thing I did on my phone. It was opening that receipt. My concern is that the hotel's internet system is not secure and possibly a virus is somewhere within it. I haven't opened it on my computer because I'm concerned it'll get my computer next. I don't know for a fact that it's that email but it was the last thing I did and Verizon said that whatever the last thing I did was, it was 'probably' what introduced the virus. Please note that I don't see anything negative about the hotel in regard to this. So many computers, even in super large organizations, have been infected and attacked lately. It wouldn't be surprising if it happened to hotels. I just wanted to mention that so that you can have your IT guys check it out, if you wish, just to be certain. I didn't use the wi-fi while there, I used my data and mobile hotspot, so I know it didn't get me that way. Again I have no idea whether it came thru the hotel's email system or not, even though Verizon seems to think it did, I just want to make you aware of it.
... and ... cue the Jeopardy song(!) ... while I wait for a response that no doubt won't come until she's aware of this post.